Meta Networks upgraded its network-as-a-service software-defined perimeter platform with extensions to its core security, management, and usability elements.
The software-defined perimeter category is hot. It is based on a “zero trust” philosophy in which access is allowed only when the visiting party proves that they are who they say they, meet policy requirements, and are entitled to the application or database to which they are requesting access. Access also is narrow — visitors are denied lateral movement within the network.
The new features of the Meta Platform include:
- Security: Meta has enhanced its behavioral alerts and notifications and added continual posture checks on user devices. A “web recording” feature generates complete audit logs during client-less web application access sessions.
- Management: The company added the ability for administrators to tag network elements to create dynamic heterogeneous groups under any chosen set of policies. Meta Networks also added system for cross-domain identity management (SCIM) support for accelerated onboarding. Dynamic split tunneling enables user access to disparate network zones with dissimilar security via preferred network connections as long as it is consistent with organization policy.
- Usability: Business-class clients can gain simpler and faster access via an updated interface. Additionally, Direct Meta Connect Access enables direct connection to web applications from a hyperlink.
- Meta Networks Chief Marketing Officer Amy Ariel said that customers are curious about this approach. “We see that people are very interested in learning about SDP [software-defined perimeter] as an alternative to replace VPNs [virtual-private networks], Ariel said. “VPNs, they understand, are more than 20 years old. They were invented for a different time and place. It resonates with people that there is a better way.”
Gartner analyst Steve Riley said that the emerging software-defined perimeter category got off the ground in 2013 at the Cloud Security Alliance Summit with an initial specification. Commercial products now are available.
“Some are based on this specification, while others add proprietary extensions to support, for example, non-REST-API applications,” he said in an email. “SDP products generally align with the concepts of the CSA standards, but do not fully follow them. Some implementations may require agents on end-user devices, while others do not.”
He lists Meta Networks as a key vendor in the sector, along with Akamai, Cyxtera, Perimeter 81, Safe-T, Unisys, Symantec (which this month acquired Luminate Security), Verizon (which acquired Vidder), and Zscaler. Earlier this month, Pulse Secure added SDP to its portfolio.
“Software-defined perimeters will appeal to organizations looking for innovative and secure ways to both connect and collaborate with their digital business ecosystem, remote workers and partners,” Riley said. “The isolation afforded by software-defined perimeters provides an improved style of connectivity that removes the need to directly expose applications to the Internet.”